Have you been laid off or are actively looking for an exit from your current job? Looking for a new job is an emotional roller coaster. As you begin looking and get on board with the idea you are a little nervous but have that flutter of excitement as you begin your journey. Once you start actively looking it is like the ascent up the hill-holy shit what was I thinking, can I really do this?! You get a job prospect, fill out your application and you feel like you are flying high. Then you keep going and you can’t see what is coming up ahead, the ups and downs, twists and turns-no news, an automatic rejection email, a delay because of an IPO, a position that they aren’t actively hiring for? Land an interview, feels great as you pull back into the station. Only to find that you have to meet with another team, the director, VP. The coaster pulls back out of the station and away you go into the fear of the unknown, even if you have ridden this coaster before.
How many times can you physically and emotionally handle riding this roller coaster? First of all make sure you remember how disorganized every company you ever worked for was. Someone in HR gets a ton of job applications for a position that they probably do not understand very well. Online marketing-yea sure someone that worked in communications at a PR company could do this. Oh you have paid search experience-I don’t really think that is what we are looking for-bottom of the pile. Once that person gets a pile of resume together they email them to most likely the director of the hiring team. They are swamped and have 0 time to review-days go by. They finally pick a few and send them back to HR for a quick call. Emails get buried, days go by. Finally schedule a call with HR, passed, now they need to figure out all of the schedules of the team you are meeting with. Schedule an interview end of next week. Takes a week or more for next steps and so on. Some companies take as long as 3-4 months for the total interview process because of scheduling issues and meeting with multiple candidates.
Now you are starting to feel like that time you were the one of the last people picked for a sports team. Will anyone want me to be on their team? Do I have the right skills and personality to fit the group? This feeling sucks. Plain and simple. Sometimes its a job you don’t really want anyways and you can deal with it, but what about when its for the job you think you will love?
Here is what you can do to ride out the emotional roller coaster of the job search. You can’t look for and apply to jobs 24/7 you will lose your mind, take a break with one of these. Even when money is tight it can be pretty nice to not have to get up and go to work everyday. Take advantage of this time off, enjoy it as best as you can and do something!
1. Exercise-super easy and beneficial. You can only apply for so many jobs in a day before you are ready to throw yourself off the balcony. Not only do you no longer have the excuse of not having any time, but you can really develop a schedule that you can stick to. You don’t have to join an expensive gym, just get outside and go for a walk or run, or do workout videos at home. You will definitely release the negative energy and feel better afterwards.
2. Hang out with an animal. Dogs are by nature pretty happy creatures, any attention you give them they will love you for and everything will feel better. Don’t have a pet? Head over to the local SPCA or shelter and volunteer a few hours a week.
3. Organize something. Remember how you never had any time to organize your personal computer files, update your iTunes or clean out that random closet. Now you have time and you will totally feel like you accomplished something that has been bothering you for years.
4. Start a hobby or that side business you always wanted. Don’t get discouraged because you don’t want to spend any money to start a business. Just figure out what interests you and start putting together a game plan to lay the ground work.
5. Network-but in a fun way. Find local events and meet new people, get free drinks. Not only does this force you to shower and wear something other than sweatpants, but you may meet someone that knows of an open position.
What has helped you survive the perils of job hunting?